With the help of Independent Cambridge - the definitive guide to ‘real’ Cambridge - Cambridge Network continues its weekly exploration of the best independent shops, cafés, restaurants, venues and events in Cambridge and the surrounding area. This week: the home of the famous Chelsea bun, fabulous Fitzbillies.
Explore Independent Cambridge: Fitzbillies
In 2011, inspired by a tweet about Fitzbillies closing from Cambridge University alumnus Stephen Fry, Tim Hayward and Alison Wright moved back to Cambridge to rescue this much-loved institution and its most famous delicacy – the Fitzbillies Chelsea bun.
Eating one of these outrageously sticky creations should certainly top anyone’s list of ‘things to do in Cambridge’, but there is so much more to Fitzbillies than just their gorgeous cakes; in the evenings, this bustling, busy bakery transforms into a rather delightful 70 cover restaurant.
Food writer and restaurant critic Tim and his partner Alison have sympathetically and respectfully restored this historic tea shop into an up-to-date and thriving business.
At night it has the relaxed and very sociable atmosphere of a brasserie which has made it a hit with the whole community of Cambridge rather than just its visitors. Classic dishes on the menu reflect the engine room of Fitzbillies – its bakery. Porter’s Pies are made in the bakery using a restored original ‘little champion’ pie press. Home-smoked salmon – innovatively cured with bun syrup – is served with delicious soda bread, while the puddings, like Bakewell tart or the legendary cheesecake, are every bit as tempting as you’d expect from a bakery.
From the early morning coffee rush, through brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or relaxing over dinner, just about any time is right to step inside for a slice of life – Fitzbillies-style.
Now, you can also enjoy the famous sticky offering down by the river with the opening of Fitzbillies Bridge Street - just opposite Quayside. The new outlet opened its doors for the first time this May with the aim of bringing the same Fitzbillies quality in the form of a neighbourhood coffee shop and bakery to this different part of the city.
51-52 Trumpington Street
Discover unique boutiques and boutique hotels mingled with communities of artists and craftspeople. Sample an award-winning restaurant or thriving little café tucked away in a back street – all easy to locate with the 200 page full-colour Independent Cambridge guide.
Handily presented with a map and an index at the beginning of each section, this book is the indispensable key to finding out what’s on offer from the independents of Cambridge. Get your copy from Waterstones, Heffers, many of the independent shops or online at www.independent-cambridge.co.uk
A celebration of the city’s best independent traders, venues and events